Zlatan Ibrahimovic has launched into a startling tirade stating that he is unlikely to remain at AC Milan because he is ‘practically playing for free’.
It is not the first time that Ibrahimovic has expressed displeasure at the running of the club, as there was a heated confrontation between Ibrahimovic and CEO Ivan Gazidis at Milanello last month.
During the meeting with the squad, they both raised their voices as the 38-year-old attacked the former Arsenal director for being too distant, also criticising him for how he handled the salary cut dispute.
We revealed that Ibrahimovic wasn’t happy with the sacking of Zvone Boban, who convinced him to return to the club. Ever since the Croatian left, Paolo Maldini has been more distant as well, which was the first thing that triggered the striker.
Ibrahimovic spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport magazine Sportweek, with his words transcribed by Football Italia.
“Ibra plays to win something or he stays at home,” he said.
“They told me that retiring in America was too easy, so I came back to Milan. I am here purely for passion, because I’m basically playing for free… Then this COVID situation stopped everything and I thought, maybe there’s something trying to tell me that I should retire…
“Fortunately, we got back on the pitch. My calf managed to get involved too, but after two days I was ready to come back into the team. Ibra is like that. But they told me to take it slow.
“Ibra was born to play football and is still the best at playing football. We’ll see how I feel in two months. We’ll also see what’s happening with the club. If this is the situation, to be honest, it’s unlikely you’ll see me at Milan next season.
“Ibra is not a player for the Europa League and Milan are not a club who belong in the Europa League.”
He was also questioned about reports he spoke out in front of CEO Ivan Gazidis at the training ground just prior to the Coppa Italia semi-final second leg against Juventus.
“I spoke for me and for the team. I needed to have some explanations on the future, both mine and of Milan. I said that this is not the Grande Milan I once experienced, that is true, but we must do the best we can even in this situation. All the way to the end.
“Ibra is here, Ibra takes care of it. I have to be here or you’ll lose the fans. I don’t know if there will be another club after Milan, I never like to close doors to opportunities.
“I will only go somewhere I have some control, not where words are worth nothing. I still have too much passion for what I do.”
When asked about rumours that Stefano Pioli could be replaced by Ralf Rangnick, the Swede was blunt.
“Who is Rangnick? I don’t even know who he is.”